Mary Stallings w/ Kenny Barron
Mary Stallings with Kenny Barron
Each generation, it seems, discovers Mary Stallings anew. A supremely soulful jazz singer, the San Francisco native has appeared alongside jazz greats including Cal Tjader, Dizzy Gillespie and the Count Basie Orchestra. With her supple sense of swing, blues-inflected phrasing, and gift for empathic interpretation, it’s easy to see why The New York Times declared her “perhaps the best jazz singer alive today.” Stallings has a long history with SFJAZZ, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2011 Gala and performing during the historic Opening Night concert at the SFJAZZ Center. For the first show of her two-night return to the Miner Auditorium stage, she’s paired with jazz piano giant Kenny Barron. Barron is a 2010 NEA Jazz Master who has helped define and extend the jazz tradition since his work with Dizzy Gillespie in the early ‘60s catapulted him into the spotlight. A nine-time Grammy nominee, his career includes extended associations with Stan Getz, Yusef Lateef and Freddie Hubbard in addition to his sparkling work as a leader, which has yielded nearly 50 albums in settings from solo piano to big band. This is a sublime pairing of two simpatico musical souls.